I Am

I am 36 years old. And I am becoming me.

I don’t believe in God.

Not anymore, at least. Not so bold as to call myself an Atheist; not so naive to proclaim one deity as the objective arbiter of life. My faith has been corrupted — and simplified.

What kind of God exercises his omnipotence and fragility by creating broken humans whose sole purpose is to perpetually repair his brittle ego?

There’s too much hopelessness and hurt. It’s endured by those who are told that their only hope is in an unseen future promised by an unseen God who asks for more than he gives.

And his people use his name for as much harm as good, though my gut tells me it’s for more harm than good. More people have died in the name of a faceless God than any other cause known to man.

I am afraid.

Of not doing enough in the time I have. I loathe the idea of falling short, or not knowing what I fell short of. I’m unnerved by aging. Not for myself — I’m oddly at peace with death and its inevitable march in my own life — but for the ones I love. I am terrified of losing a parent, or both. But it’s virtually a statistical guarantee, lest I meet my own untimely demise. I am afraid that I won’t be able to make my parents’ later years free of stress. I’m scared that my insecurities would become my reality if I lose those whose existence is my reason for being.

I am sure I’m right.

I have an inflated ego when it comes to my world views; I’m right and I know it. Except when I’m wrong (though, I assure you, it’s rare). I think I’m smarter than I’ve ever proven worthy to be labeled as such. So, leaving a degree of my potential untapped allows me a higher ceiling. Space for growth. An upside worth chasing, a future worthy of dreaming.

I am a hypocrite.

I become indignant with ease, waving the flag of my ideals when it suits me. But I’m a hypocrite. I vote for the rights of others — but tweeting and ranting in group texts typifies the extent of my action on their behalf. I care with convenience. I’m philosophically and operationally a juxtaposition. I drive a gas guzzler. I like nice things; I like my own comfort. And I pat my own back in the name of progressive piety because I say the right things. But I’m on the sidelines when it counts.I

I don’t like most people.

Until I need them. Or miss them. I’m growing into an isolationist when it serves me, which admittedly is more norm than exception. I expect people to be there for me like I never left. When it’s convenient for me, like now. I write, proclaiming it’s for me, though without your validation — yes, yours — I wonder if I’ve ever written for myself at all.

I am ungrateful.

I am married to the best woman I’ve ever known. I have a business I’m proud of. I have a family that loves me, friends who will drop anything to be there for me. I have a roof above me, a floor below me, air conditioning around me, clean sheets and a comfy mattress to rest me. And I spend my waking minutes wondering what’s missing, what’s next, what isn’t, and what might be.

I know who I am.

In spite of myself, in spite of my weakness, my shortcomings, or idiosyncrasies or flaws, I know that I am this person. I am not ignorant to myself. I’m short and bald. I have bad knees. I am healthy. I am limited but I am capable. I am enough for those who love me. I am enough for me.

I am happy.

I aim to be more, or better. Mmm, both. I am discontented with my efforts, eager to achieve more, but clear-headed enough to know I’m ahead of even my own expectations. Aware enough to know these expectations are a fabrication of an unsettled mind, a creation; a myth of my own making. And in the moments where I am able to expand the distance in the space between my head and my heart, I know what I aim to feel more — I am happy.

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